It stands out in the beautiful hinterlands of France, about ninety miles from Paris.
A shrine with what towers like a cathedral.
Mission: purgatory — or better said, releasing souls from there.
Before the pandemic, an estimated 100,000 visitors a year, we are told by an English liaison there, Martine Courvoisier.
It dates back to the late 1800s, when a humble parish priest named Father Paul-Joseph Buguet decided that those grieving death of a loved one, or seeking prayers for the deceased, needed a special place of intercession. To that end, there was what seemed like intervention from above.
Notes author Susan Tassone, in her book, Praying with the Saint for the Holy Souls in Purgatory, “On the evening of November 1, 1876, [Father Buguet’s] brother, Auguste, was ringing the bells at the Church of Our Lady of Mortagne-au-Perche, in Normandy, when, incredibly, one of the bells broke loose and killed him.
“Father Paul was heartsick, and only God’s goodness sustained the priest.
“Not knowing the state of his brother’s soul, he begged reassurance of God’s Love and Mercy that his soul be saved. He abandoned himself and his brother to the Will of God with confidence that not even a hair on one’s head falls without the permission of the Divine Will.
“Father Paul prayed for his brother’s soul so as to obtain his entrance into paradise. From his personal experience, the priest considered this a call from Heaven to commit himself to a work of mercy for the dead.”
And so it is that there is now a shrine that draws pilgrims from across France and Europe, as well as some from even Africa and America. It’s in the same diocese, Seeze, as the birthplace of Thérèse the Little Flower.
There are two Masses a day for the souls and additional ones said by a total of five chaplains there (and of course visiting priests). There is also a Rosary for the purgatorial cause, as well as Vespers and Adoration.
Three times a month is a Mass for deceased priests. There is a side chapel for unborn children (aborted and otherwise).
“On top of the ‘perpetual’ Mass celebrated daily at the shrine for the most neglected Holy Souls, and the members of the spiritual Fraternity of O.L. of Montligeon (deceased or living), they furthermore benefit from four other Eucharists for the intention to the same intention and missioned by the Shrine of Montligeon, and from the 35,000 associates worldwide who have committed themselves to offer sacrifices and prayers for them, notwithstanding the Montligeon Prayer Groups, who regularly meet and pray for them as well,” notes Martine.
Those who want more information can e-mail her at: [email protected], or call (33) 2 33 85 18 69.
Shrine website: https://montligeon.org/